Slow recovery for drug addicts in Calderdale

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DRUG addicts in Calderdale can spend years in treatment schemes with limited chance of recovery, say researchers.

A draft report by the University of Huddersfield says that every year that heroin and crack cocaine users at Calderdale Substance Misuse Service spend on a treatment programme raises their odds of recovery by seven per cent.

But it would take 10 years before the odds were doubled.

The research team said that while the Halifax-based service was good at keeping people in treatment, the gains in recovery were “very slow”.

A spokesperson for NHS Calderdale said: “The report published by University of Huddersfield is still in draft form and has not been signed off by us as commissioners of the report.

“The study began in 2009 and therefore it reports on the services available at that time rather than the current services.

“The draft findings show a picture of recovery that is similar across the country and reflects the way in which substance misuse services have traditionally been provided.

“Two years ago, the new national Drug Strategy was published which moved the focus of substance misuse services away from the numbers of clients in treatment and harm minimisation, to a much more recovery orientated service.

“In Calderdale, we agreed to undertake a review of how we commission drugs and alcohol services. This report forms part of that review.

“Once the report by the University of Huddersfield is finalised, we will be using its findings, alongside the national strategy and guidance, to work with Calderdale Substance Misuse Service and our other local providers of substance misuse services to commission recovery based services.

“Calderdale Substance Misuse Service provides treatment and recovery services for local people in partnership with other third sector providers. It has a good track record of successfully identifying and providing effective treatment for people who have drug and alcohol problems.

“Calderdale Substance Misuse Service has been pro-active and responsive to the publication of the Strategy and has already been developing its services to become more recovery orientated.”